Ying and Yang
New Order Magazine
- Essy May
The dualist symbol of Yin and Yang, originated in China, was widely explored in Taoist religion as a necessary balance to bring equilibrium to the World. Although not referencing opposites, exactly, it's based on the idea of a pendulum, in which darkness originates lightness; morality, immorality; peacefulness, revolt; creation, destruction; freedom, constriction; and distribution, progress; the black and white as "fundamental energies of creation".
"fundamental energies of creation"
In this reality, the excessive predominance of one energy creates the rise of another. The stronger a black force becomes, the fiercier the white would push it aside, and vice-versa. The idea is not of a fight of opposites, but rather the idea that one's excess would create the necessary environment to the growth of the other. Much like pendular movements, a saturation of an energy would encourage the birth of another. Heaviness would demand lightness; maximalism would create a vacuum of opportunities for minimalist aesthetics.
The diamond trend model, created by Henrik Vejlgaard is probably the most famous tool to understand the dissipation of a social trend (whether it is social uprising or pvc short skirts). It usually begins with trend creators, extremely experimental people who aren't afraid of trying ideas never seen before. They represent roughly 2,5% of the population and their value can't be ignored. Trend creators are the people who "create" trends. Trends that are usually dissipated by trend setters or the "out of this world boring" influencers.
If you think, however, that they are the only group creating trends, you thought it wrong.
Apart from Trend creators, the only other class of society creating trends are the Anti-innovators. This may seem counterintuitive to you, but you know those people who never change their hair (hello Anna Wintour) or those who'd wish to remain forever isolated (think of Grey Gardens)? They create trends on their own, trends that don't look anything like your glossy "Vogue trend", but that, for better or worse, have an impact on society. It's not by coincidence that countercultural movements are probably the biggest tool used by trend forecasting agencies to predict trends.
A circular movement of vitality.
how can we punish someone, if we have both lightness and darkness in ourselves?
What's perhaps even more interesting about this ancient symbol are the black and white dots you'll see inside each circle. They represent the contrast in opposition. This means that in every right-wing identity, there's a left-wing one. In every libertarian, there's an oppressor in disguise. And isn't the law the result of this combat? A hegelian result of a thesis (freedom) and antithesis (security), giving birth to a middle-ground synthesis? A synthesis that is constantly shifting between two opposites?
Going back to Taoist philosophy though, it's exactly this movement of dual energies that originates the chi, the energy of life. It's, actually, in this pendular movement of opposing forces that life in society happens. This fight between white and dark has no absolute reason to be. This constant struggle for one side of human's identity to remain dominant forever is absolutely pointless. It's in this constant flow of energy, one side giving birth to the other, that allows life to happen. A circular movement of vitality.
Contrast in Opposition
Yes, of course, there are those moments where the "synthetic" equilibrium is shaken. The important moments of fight, the moments of revolt and revolution… but mistake yourself if you think that they always go in your benefit. More than ever, we need moderate institutions to protect people from atrocities. And more than ever, indeed, we need to understand society and really take our time to think about the results of our actions. More importantly even, we need to really understand the tricks behind identity manipulations, so we're neves misdirected.
At the end of the day, is there a point to fighting identity personalities? Where's the line between self interest and pure oppression? Is it true that one identitarian side holds a higher ground? Or is it just pretentious of one to think that? While in the 60s freedom was a countercultural value, against the solidity and seriousness of a bourgeoise form of life, nowadays it's become a symbol of evilness, according to online personalities. Should freedom be responsible for the misfits of a few? And finally, how can we punish someone, if we have both lightness and darkness in ourselves?
"Yin is a symbol of earth, femaleness, darkness, passivity, and absorption. It is present in even numbers, in valleys and streams, and is represented by the tiger, the colour orange, and a broken line. Yang is conceived of as heaven, maleness, light, activity, and penetration. It is present in odd numbers, in mountains, and is represented by the dragon, the colour azure, and an unbroken line. [...] In harmony, the two are depicted as the light and dark halves of a circle."
Article: Editor X
Graphic Designer: Charlotte Connah
Philosophical support: Mariam Horst